The Essential Educator, May/June 2017

Michigan DNR
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The Essential Educator, May/June 2017
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Bird watching class with park interpreter Jon Spieles.

Forests, Fields, Fins and Felonies? Select professional development slots still open for summer!

Conservation Officer stages roadside inspection for educational purposes.Forests, Fields and Fins, the DNR’s core class at the Academy of Natural Resources, features all-day field excursions with wildlife and fisheries biologists, foresters and other resource experts. This week of natural resources field camp also brings in a surprising twist, when teachers also get to spend an entire day with Michigan conservation officers. Educators, both formal and non-formal, learn the science of field observation, gathering evidence at a crime scene, interviewing techniques and much more. The Academy is held July 9-14, 2017, at the DNR’s Ralph A. MacMullan (RAM) Conference Center on Higgins Lake. Five night’s lodging, 15 meals and instruction are included for only $295 with a scholarship from the Novi Chapter-Safari Club International. Graduate credits and SCECH are also available. If you are an interested educator or know a teacher, please share our post on Facebook.

DNR’s UP Field Camp coming this August

Bob Wild, Park Interpreter way up in da UP, teaches some folks a thing or two.  It's good work if you can get it.

If you are a formal K-12 classroom teacher or a non-formal classroom educator at a nature center, zoo or other natural resources-focused program, here is a great opportunity to learn about the vast resources and history of the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. DNR’s Academy of Natural Resources North still has a handful of openings for its August 6-11 program at the Ford Center, part of the field campus of Michigan Technological University, one hour west of Marquette. The fee for five night’s lodging (single room), 13 meals, instruction and field trips is $350. For a glimpse of the 2016 pilot program, check out ANR North: Planting the Seeds for Michigan’s Future. To register or get more information about ANR North, contact Kevin Frailey at 517-284-6043 or send Kevin an email at

Michigan’s Environmental Education Certification (EEC) hosting workshop this July

Environmental Education Certification thing.For those of you interested in Michigan’s EE certification, be sure to register for the EEC Strand One Workshop, Sunday July 9, at the RAM Center on the north shore of Higgins Lake. The Strand One Workshop is offered only three times a year and is a mandatory component for the certification process which includes five strands. The workshop, offered by a team of experienced and entertaining EE professionals, is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If interested in more information, email Cindy at For more information about the EE certification Program, go to MAEOE.

Note: Other components of the EEC can be achieved by registering for the entire week of professional development at the Academy of Natural Resources (ANR), which begins Sunday, July 9, also at the RAM Center. Why not feed two birds with one feeder? EEC and ANR at RAM Center!

State EE Conference coming to Mount Pleasant this October

Park interpreter talks trees with park visitors.The Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) will celebrate 30 years of quality professional development and the advancement of natural resources education at its fall conference October 5-8 on the campus of Central Michigan University. Details and registration materials will be available soon, so stay tuned for future postings in the Essential Educator and the MAEOE website.

The conference will feature several pre-conference workshops Thursday the 5th, a full day of workshops and breakout sessions Friday the 6th, additional breakout sessions and field trips Saturday the 7th and wrap-up sessions Sunday the 8th. Save the date and stay tuned for more information.

State Environmental/Outdoor Education Awards Program accepting nominations

Environmental Education Certification thing.The Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) has released its criteria for the 2017 award program, which culminates at the annual state EE conference October 6–8, at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. “Teachers, naturalists, camp staff and many other individuals have made tremendous contributions to the students and families of Michigan. Their efforts to inform and educate, teach outdoor skills and respect for nature and connect them to the outdoors is critical to our future,” said Ashlie Smith, president of MAEOE.  You can nominate a volunteer, practitioner, administrator or anyone who has had a significant impact in environmental and outdoor education. For the nomination form, please go to MAEOE webpage.

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